Manual resistance trainers and keeping folk honest!


(Jon Wallace) #1

I am now in, had a play around and everything looks very nice - but for those with manual resistance trainers - how are you planning on handling what resistance setting a manual trainer is set to?

TrainerRoad asks the user to say what trainer they are using and what resistance setting it is set to in the pairing process - this way the virtual power curve makes more sense. When I tried last night, I have my CycleOps Mag on max resistance always for training - rode in Zwift and power numbers were well below what they are in TrainerRoad… Felt odd… I stuck the resistance down to the lowest setting and I could blast around at 400watts with ease… Obviously this is wrong…

When will you be adding manual trainers to the system? I guess if people are competitive against others here - then folk will always cheat and put the resistance to minimal and spin with a high cadence - put in less effort and produce better numbers… The way I see things is - that no point in cheating yourself as I see it as a training system - so best to have the trainer on the right setting to match real power to virtual and race that way…


(Jon Wallace) #2

I don’t think there is really a way to prevent this apart from not allowing folk with dumb trainers to use Zwift which will lose them loads of users / potential users so can’t see it happening. Even if they did, folk who are obsessed with winning will still cheat the system and setup their power meters to work in an optimum way I am sure! e.g. make the numbers as big as possible with as little effort put in on the pedals… This for me is why Zwift is likely not to succeed where it thinks it will - I use the turbo to train against myself - and make myself a better rider… trying to race others involves far too many uncontrolable variables to make the playing fields level and fair… I’d suggest most folk use Zwift when they bring in the training programs like TrainerRoad and use it as a more immersive experience to ride a training session like one would do on The Sufferfest / Trainerroad but with the added benefit of seeing yourself complete the virtual course - perhaps racing Zwift bots :wink:


(Stewart G teamWBR) #3

I think most will end up doing the training plans whilst viewing Zwift and maybe the more competative rides will be with people you know or ones you know that are putting out realistic figures.

I agree that if you try and have it as strict as possible then they will lose out on too many potential users which would in the end rob everyone if they had to close up due to lack of funds.

Even as it is I think it is great and I have been finding it easy to jump on the trainer.


(Bradley Hare) #4

Having used the power functionality on my Tacx Bushido I have certainly seen some wild swings in wattage output which haven’t necessarily correlated with my heart rate. Things such as tyre pressure and resistance to the trainer can make things swing one way or the other. A ‘proper’ power meter is definitely more accurate and more constant (I now use Stages)

Often, when I am riding Zwift I see the KoM Jersey and Green Jersey being worn by people without a power meter - all bar one occasion has this happened. I don’t consider it to be ‘dishonesty’, more the fact the variables are too numerous and unreliable.

I don’t know what the answer is because the aim of the product is get as many users on board as possible and those potential users without a power meters is going to be considerably more.

As others have said, the sooner Zwift gets some proper training functionality incorporated, it should be a much more ‘meaty’ offering. For me, Trainerroad is still the best product for ‘pure’ training and I often run it alongside Zwift.


(Jon Wallace) #5

The only person they are cheating is themselves… but the difference here with other folk to race other than just themselves as they would on TrainerRoad for example is that some folk will cheat… Just look at the Strava segments and the silly times folk have set lol. I might try running Zwift and TrainerRoad alongside each other to compare the virtual power numbers - I can already tell there is quite a difference!


(Jaime Salas) #6

Yes I also am running the CycleOPS Mag 5, and the numbers are WAAAYYY lower than what shows on TrainerRoad. I am aware that when I did sign up that the CycleOPS Mag was not supported, I do hope they do decide to put in the math work and get the number value correct.

Like you said there are tons of people who don’t have power meters and use “dummy trainers” as they call it. They will take a huge hit on subscriptions if they don’t start supporting more “Dummy trainers”.


(Eric C. (Zwift HQ)) #7

Eventually there will be a way to prevent most of this from happening, but as Zwift is in Beta, it’s better to gather as much data as possible and see how people are using Zwift.

Regarding the CycleOps Mag trainer, it will get in eventually but you may be looking at some time to go.


(Christopher Pallotta) #8

Unfortunately, even if everyone used a smart trainer, there would still be inconsistencies. It’s a sad truth, but Kickrs’ internal power measurements are just not that accurate from machine to machine. Additionally, they can be tweaked to show higher wattages by manipulating spindown time and belt tension.

Even if everyone used the exact same top-of-the-line SRM recently-calibrated power meter, one would still be able to cheat just by fudging their weight.

I’m happy to read that Zwift says they have some things in the works to help prevent some of this, and I bet they will. Still, there will always be a way to cheat and there will always be inacurrate power discrepancies between even riders with the best intentions.

But I say, so what?! Just pretend the other riders in Zwift are what they appear to be and enjoy the experience. Don’t take the leaderboards too seriously and only really trust the names of those you can actually ride with in real life. If you beat me on Zwift, you’d better be able to do the same in the real world!


(David Hewes) #9

I think there should be separate leader boards for this; a leader board for virtual trainers and power meters. You cannot access the ride with others who use a true power device.


(David Hewes) #10

I think that contest is already begun:)